Wednesday, August 12, 2020

HIV Affects More Young Women than Young Men in West, Central Africa’ Report

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By Momodou Jarju

HIV prevalence among women aged between 20 to 29 years, is reported to be higher than among men of the same age in Western and Central African countries.

This result is said to be five to nine times higher in some West African countries such as Ivory Coast, Ghana and The Gambia.

“However, by the time they are between 40 and 49 years old, men have similar HIV prevalence. Exceptions to this are in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Gabon, where HIV prevalence among women is close to twice as high in that age range,” the report indicated.

The report disclosed that the difference in HIV prevalence between men and women of the 20/29-year age group in Western and central Africa, is greater than that observed in Eastern and some Southern African countries.

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“Possible reasons for this difference include the high rates of voluntary medical male circumcision in Western and Central Africa, which has been shown to have a 60% protective effect on female-to-male HIV transmission. Other possible reasons for the difference in Western and Central Africa may be the low use of condoms and low uptake of antiretroviral therapy among men in the region,” the report added.

The report which was published by ‘ReliefWeb’ on 18th June 2019, was from the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

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